Those in Michigan (and nationwide) who object to Michigan’s official policy, written into law last week, that abortions are not a covered service required to be provided by insurance companies, have taken on a new tactic to express their anger.
Coverage for abortions now requires a separate rider in Michigan, sometimes from a different insurance company or sometimes paid for by the individual if her employer has a moral conflict with covering her abortions.
Opponents are calling these riders “rape insurance.”
Ah, yes, use hyperbole to bring up the extremely small percentage of abortions that are requested due to rape. Then drag that language front and center!
They say the people who control the language also control the dialogue. This is not a time for conservatives to passively sit back and let the language be hijacked this way.
When I was younger, insurance companies often had separate riders for maternity insurance. We didn’t purchase one, even when trying for a brother or sister for Joey (he was born at the local naval hospital and cost us a sum total of $16). We had intended to have our second child, and any subsequent children, born at home and to pay the midwife out of pocket.
Quaint concept that–paying out of pocket for the things we want. We now think everything our heart desires must be covered by someone else’s funding, don’t we?
Thus we have an outcry when those who desire an abortion can’t find a way to get them free (read: at taxpayer expense or at the expense of the other people employed by their companies).
I categorically object to the term “rape insurance.”
It is a false categorization of riders which are making people pay for their own abortions.
Morally, I don’t intend to pay for them. You have the right to have an abortion. You also have the right to find a way to pay for it that does not involve me.
I read a blog post once in which a young man was interviewed. He was a child molester who went after pre-pubescent boys. And he told of how he had been molested as a pre-pubescent boy. He didn’t think what he was doing to the other boys was particularly harmful but . . . even if it was, he didn’t care. His empathy mechanism had died in childhood, when someone first molested him.
There is a gasp of indignation when something like this happens. We mourn the loss of innocence of the young child whose empathy was stripped away. Yet we realize we can’t just turn him loose on an unsuspecting world to lash out against others for the rest of his days.
In many ways, we all can lose our empathy mechanism, in whole or in part.
There are many who have spoken of feeling like their childhood was “on the outside looking in” at the families they presumed were happy when theirs was not. That is sad. Perhaps we have all felt a bit of that at times, but some children grow up feeling it constantly.
Problem is, their empathy mechanism can shut off from that, too. Particularly if their feeling of being an outsider transforms into a desire to take revenge on those they felt had things better than they did. They may, in time, feel as though they are divinely appointed avengers to make sure that those who got so much in childhood don’t carry right on being privileged their whole life through.
If they get into a position of power, they may very well try to make rules that are not good rules . . . because those rules come from that wounded place inside, that child who was thwarted so much that his empathy mechanism shut down.
I have been feeling that that is happening this week, as I have watched the executive branch of our government lash out again and again, against many things that are normal and wholesome in our land.
World War II veterans traveling across the nation to visit their memorial on the National Mall.
Senior citizens from the U.S. and many other countries traveling to the Grand Canyon on a bus.
People trying to vacation at an inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway after making reservations months ago.
People trying to have a meal at a historic restaurant in nearby Yorktown, Virginia but finding that the restaurant is leased in a building belonging to the National Park Service.
And now, dead servicemembers coming back from Afghanistan with no funds being given to their families to fly out to Dover Air Force Base to meet the remains of their loved one. If the loved one is still alive and in a hospital in Germany, no funds to fly the family over there to spend time with the injured servicemember, even if he might be critically injured and end up dying . . .
What, in the name of all that is holy and good, are we doing? This stuff could be fixed with a memo from the President, who heads up the executive branch. I am not going to say that he is the one so lacking in empathy as to make all of these cruel choices, but I will say that he could put a stop to them with a stroke of his pen.
Is he possibly grandstanding, using these people as human shields to try to force the side opposing him to grant him, quickly, the concessions he desires? Only God knows his heart, but I will say that he has not come across as warm and empathetic to any of the above groups this week. And his executive branch, particularly the National Park Service, which works for the Department of the Interior, has run amuck.
If you don’t have a dad who served in World War II, can you still empathize with the veterans of that war? Of course.
If you don’t have elderly parents heading for the Grand Canyon, can you still empathize with the seniors whose bus was turned away from that national park this week? Of course. You can empathize even if you were raised in a family so poor that it never took vacations. Or a broken family that had no concept of vacations . . .
Can you empathize with strangers trying to stay in a Blue Ridge Parkway inn or trying to eat in a Yorktown restaurant? Of course. And you can sympathize with the businesses operating the inn and the restaurant, private businesses that now have employees who need to pay bills and are not working . . .
Most of all, you can empathize with the parents and spouses of the slain military members, even if you have never personally had a familymember in the military. Your heart can ache, knowing how much it would hurt to have to go claim the remains of your own child or spouse . . .
In all of these situations, we can have empathy and should have empathy. If our empathy mechanism is broken, that is not normal. We should not expect everyone to join us in a “who cares” vengeful attitude toward these very normal families trying to take a trip, especially a trip that ends with claiming the remains of a loved one.
I don’t know where the orders to disrupt normal American families as vengefully as possible have been originating during this shutdown, but I know who can stop them with the stroke of a pen.
As I have heard more than one person say this week: “Mr. President, tear down those barriers!”